How to find the best pool loan for your needs
There may be nothing better in the summer months than having a backyard pool.
Unfortunately, installing an in-ground swimming pool costs over $50,000 on average, which leaves many homeowners wondering how to finance a pool in the first place.
What are your options if you don’t have enough cash? Is swimming pool financing available? Thankfully, yes. You have plenty of ways to pay for a swimming pool. Here are the best pool financing options to consider this year.Check your pool financing options. Start here
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What is a pool loan?
A pool loan is a type of loan that is specifically designed to help finance the construction or installation of a swimming pool or spa.
These loans are typically unsecured, meaning they do not require any collateral. They are often offered with fixed interest rates and repayment terms ranging from a few years to several decades.Check your pool financing options. Start here
Pool loans can be used to cover the cost of a variety of pool-related expenses, such as excavation, landscaping, pool equipment, and installation costs. A new swimming pool can increase your property value by upwards of 7%, according to a HouseLogic study. But installing one of your own comes with a hefty price tag. This is why many homeowners opt for pool loans to build their backyard oasis.
Some pool loans may be offered by traditional banks or credit unions, while others may be available through specialized lenders that focus specifically on pool financing. The amount you can borrow will depend on several factors, including your credit score, income, and the overall cost of your pool project.
How to finance a pool
So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and add a pool to your property. Exciting, isn’t it?
But wait, before you start picking out pool floats and planning your first party, there’s a key step you need to consider: how to finance a pool, exactly? Don’t worry; it’s not as daunting as it might seem. Let’s dive into the various ways you can make this dream a reality without breaking the bank.Check your pool financing options. Start here
If you don’t have cash on hand to install a pool, there are a variety of financing options that can help.
Pool financing options include:
- Cash-out refinance on your home
- Home equity line of credit (HELOC)
- Home equity loan
- Personal loan or “pool loan”
- Pool manufacturer financing
- Credit card
The right type of pool financing for you depends on a variety of factors, like your existing home equity, your credit score, and how much cash you need. Here’s what you should know about each option.
Pool financing options
1. Cash-out refinance to pay for a pool
Refinancing is the process of replacing your current mortgage with a new one. You can often refinance to get a lower interest rate and reduce your monthly payment.
Depending on how much home equity you have, you may be able to get cash back when you refinance. You can use the cash for just about any purpose, like debt consolidation, home improvement financing — and yes, even building a swimming pool.Check your cash-out refinance eligibility. Start here
Pros of a cash-out refinance
The benefit of a cash-out refinance is that you’re able to borrow up to 80% of your home’s equity. If you’ve had the home a while, or made a big down payment, that could be plenty to finance a new swimming pool at relatively low interest rates.
But cashing out isn’t the only benefit of refinancing. You can also:
- Increase or decrease your loan term
- Switch from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage
- Switch from one mortgage program to another
- Remove a co-borrower from the mortgage loan
- Remove mortgage insurance
If a lender offers you a low mortgage rate, cashing out might be the best option for homeowners with enough equity to build a swimming pool. If you can take cash out and drop your rate, it’s a huge win-win.
Cons of a cash-out refinance
The benefits of cashing out have to be weighed against the overall cost of refinancing.
A refinance involves going through the mortgage application and approval process again. You’ll have to submit updated income information. Your credit score must also be high enough to qualify for the chosen mortgage program.
Refinancing also involves closing costs, which range from 2% to 5% of the loan amount. And your mortgage balance increases when you borrow from your equity, which can increase your monthly payment.
Finally, remember that a new mortgage is a secured loan. This means if you can’t repay it, you could risk foreclosure. So you have to make sure cashing out your equity is a sound decision that won’t negatively impact your finances in the long run.
2. HELOC pool financing
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a revolving credit line secured by your home’s equity. Basically, a HELOC functions like a credit card. If you’re approved, you could access enough credit to finance your pool and then pay the money back on a drawn-out schedule.Check your HELOC options. Start here
Pros of a home equity line of credit
The advantage of a HELOC is that monthly payments are based on how much you withdraw from the account. Moreover, you only pay interest on what you borrow. The draw period is typically 10 years, so you’ll likely have access to the line of credit even after you’ve paid off the pool.
Another big benefit is that interest rates on HELOCs are lower than credit cards or personal loans, because the debt is secured by your home.
Interest on a home equity line of credit might even be tax-deductible. You can deduct the interest when using funds to “buy, build, or substantially improve your home,” per the Internal Revenue Service.
Potentially the two biggest advantages to a home equity line, though, are speed and cost. You can usually get a HELOC within weeks. There’s often little or no documentation required. Sometimes, you can even skip the appraisal.
Closing costs are substantially lower, too. Think, hundreds of dollars in closing costs instead of thousands with a cash-out refinance.
Cons of a home equity line of credit
The downside is that many HELOCs have variable interest rates, so your payments aren’t fixed.
It also creates a second mortgage, increasing your overall mortgage balance. This increases your “risk” as a borrower, and might make it harder to refinance your primary mortgage in the future.
Keep in mind that a HELOC is a secured mortgage just like a refinance. If you can’t keep up with the monthly payments, you risk losing your home — and your pool.
3. Home equity loan pool financing
A home equity loan is similar to a HELOC in that it’s another type of second mortgage. A home equity loan allows you to tap your home’s value and borrow cash for many purposes, including a swimming pool purchase or other home improvement projects.
But instead of accessing a line of credit on an as-needed basis, like a HELOC, you’re given a one-time lump sum of cash to pay for your pool.Check your home equity loan options. Start here
Pros of a home equity loan
Many home equity loans have a fixed interest rate and payment, so your monthly cost remains predictable. This is a big benefit over a HELOC.
What’s more, a home equity loan might have a lower rate than a home equity line of credit or personal loan, too. And like a HELOC, the interest on a home equity loan might be tax-deductible.
Plus, the approval process can be faster and cheaper than a full cash-out refinance.
Cons of a home equity loan
Though cheaper than a full refinance, the downside is that home equity loans come with closing costs. Again, your house acts as collateral for the loan. So you could lose your home if you stop making payments.
4. Personal loans or “pool loans”
If you prefer financing a swimming pool without tapping your home equity, you might apply for an unsecured personal loan.
Banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions — such as Lightstream and SoFi — offer personal loans that are often advertised as “pool loans.” Once you’re approved, you’ll receive a lump sum to pay for your swimming pool.
Pros of using a personal loan
Getting funds with a personal loan is often faster than applying for a cash-out refi, HELOC, or home equity loan. The application process should be simpler. In most cases, you’ll get funds within a few days or a week.
Also, since your house doesn’t secure the loan, the bank can’t foreclose if you stop making loan payments (hopefully this doesn’t happen).
Cons of using a personal loan
The downside is that personal loans have much higher rates compared to home equity financing. So you’ll end up paying more interest over the life of the loan.
To save money on your loan, always compare interest rates among different lenders. This can help you find affordable pool financing.Compare pool loans from multiple lenders. Start here
5. Pool manufacturer financing
When it comes to financing a pool, working directly with pool manufacturers or authorized dealers can be an attractive option.
Many pool manufacturers offer financing plans tailored to the specific needs of pool buyers. And some often collaborate with financial institutions to provide loans or financing packages specifically designed for pool installation.
These types of pool loans may include competitive interest rates, flexible payment terms, or even special promotions.
The application process is typically handled by the manufacturer or dealer, making it a one-stop shop for both the pool and the financing. However, it’s essential to carefully review the terms and understand any potential fees or charges that may apply.
Pros of pool company financing
Pool manufacturer financing offers a streamlined process, allowing you to arrange both the pool purchase and financing through the same channel.
Manufacturers may provide financing options specifically designed for pool buyers, potentially including features like deferred payments or lower initial interest rates. Some manufacturers may even offer special incentives, such as discounts or promotional rates, as part of their financing packages.
Cons of pool company financing
When financing through a manufacturer, you may be limited to the options they provide, potentially restricting your ability to shop around for the best rates or terms.
While manufacturer financing can offer unique benefits, it may also come with higher overall costs, especially if special promotions or incentives lead to higher interest rates later on.
6. Credit cards
Financing a pool with credit cards might seem unconventional, but it can be a viable option for some. This method involves using credit cards, particularly those with 0% APR introductory offers, to cover the costs of building or installing a pool.
Many credit card issuers offer a 0% APR (Annual Percentage Rate) as an introductory offer for new cardholders. This means that for a specific period, often ranging from 12 to 18 months, you won’t be charged any interest on your purchases.
If you’re considering financing your pool with a credit card, these offers can provide a significant advantage. However, it’s essential to be aware that once the introductory period ends, the regular interest rate will apply, which can be quite high.
Pros of credit cards
With a 0% APR intro offer, you can make payments on your pool without interest charges for the introductory period. This interest-free period can be a significant advantage.
Credit cards also offer flexibility in payments, allowing you to pay more or less as your financial situation allows, provided you meet the minimum payment requirements.
Additionally, some credit cards come with rewards programs that can provide cash back, points, or other benefits.
Cons of credit cards
When financing through credit cards, you may face high interest once the 0% APR period ends. If you haven’t paid off the balance, this can lead to substantial additional costs.
Financing a large purchase like a pool on a credit card can also affect your credit utilization ratio, which may impact your credit score.
Furthermore, credit cards might not be the best option for everyone, especially if the regular APR is too high or if you struggle with disciplined payments.
Top lenders: Best pool loans
Many traditional banks, credit unions, and online lenders offer swimming pool financing. Some homeowners will consider tapping their home equity to buy a pool. But others will opt for a personal loan because they’re comparatively easier to obtain.
Finding the best pool financing for your needs will involve comparing quotes with at least three lenders. When looking for a pool loan, here are some key factors to consider:Compare pool loans with multiple lenders. Start here
- Interest rates: Interest rates are a major factor in determining the cost of your pool loan. The lower the interest rate, the less you’ll pay in interest charges over the life of the loan. Be sure to compare rates from multiple lenders to find the best deal
- Fees: Some lenders may charge fees for origination, prepayment penalties, or late payments. Make sure you understand all the fees and upfront costs associated with the loan before you sign on.
- Loan term: The length of the loan term will affect your monthly payments and the total cost of the loan. A longer loan term may result in lower monthly payments, but you’ll pay more in interest charges over time
- Loan amount: Consider how much you need to borrow to finance your pool project. Some lenders may have minimum or maximum loan amounts
- Collateral requirements: Some lenders may require collateral, such as your home or the pool itself, to secure the loan. Be sure to understand the collateral requirements before you apply
- Credit score: Your credit score will be a factor in determining your eligibility for a pool loan and the interest rate you’ll be offered. Be sure to check your credit score and address any errors or issues before applying for a loan
- Customer service: Look for a lender with good customer service and a reputation for transparency and fairness. Read reviews from other customers to get an idea of their experiences with the lender
- Discounts: Some lenders offer discounts to current customers or those who enroll in autopay. Taking advantage of any potential relationship discounts or account management markdowns can reduce the cost of borrowing
Before you shop for a pool finance loan, be sure to have a finalized pool estimate in hand. If you’re considering any additional decking or an enclosure for your new pool, then be sure those costs are included in your estimate.
How to get pool financing
Financing a pool can be a straightforward process if you’re equipped with the right information and tools. Whether it’s for leisure, home improvement, or to increase your property value, understanding how to secure the right financing is key. Follow these steps to navigate the pool financing process smoothly.Explore your pool financing options. Start here
Step 1: Estimate your budget
Start your pool financing journey by estimating your budget. Use a loan calculator to figure out how much you can afford for this major remodel and pool installation. This estimation should include the initial construction and ongoing maintenance costs.
Step 2: Credit check and prequalification
Check your credit score with the three major credit-reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You can pull free credit reports from all three once per calendar year at annualcreditreport.com. Generally speaking, high credit scores result in low interest rates, which can save quite a lot of money over the life of a loan.
In addition, understanding your credit score improves your loan prequalification process by identifying potential terms and interest rates. If there is room for improvement, think about what you can do to raise your score.
Step 3: Compare lenders and loan options
With your budget set and your credit standing in hand, it’s time to compare lenders and loan options. Weigh the pros and cons of home equity loans, personal loans, and pool company financing, focusing on interest rates and repayment terms.
Evaluate the loan terms, borrowing fees, and interest rates offered by different financial institutions. Look for options that might offer same-day prequalification or approval, which can expedite the pool financing process.
Step 4: Apply for pool financing
After selecting your preferred financing option, complete the loan application. This process may involve detailed financial disclosures, such as proof of income and employment history.
Some lenders may offer same-day loan application processing, making it quicker to move forward with your pool project.
Step 5: Close and grab a swimsuit
Following loan approval, carefully review the loan agreement before signing. With the financial details settled, you can initiate the construction of your pool.
As the project takes shape, prepare for the fun times ahead. Close your pool loan deal, and in the spirit of celebration, why not pick out a new swimsuit for those upcoming pool days?
Check your pool financing options. Start here
How much does a pool cost?
Installing a swimming pool is a dream for many homeowners, especially those living in warmer climates.
But how much does it actually cost to install a pool? The answer depends on various factors, including the type of pool, size, materials, add-ons, and ongoing maintenance costs.
Type of pool
- Above-ground pool: These pools are generally more budget-friendly, with costs ranging from $700 to $5,000. The average cost for the pool kit and supplies is around $2,850, with kits starting as low as $750.
- Below-ground pool (Inground Pools): Inground pools are a more luxurious option and come with a higher price tag. The average cost ranges from $28,000 to $55,000, including the pool’s shell, heavy equipment, excavation, water, backfill material, plumbing, and pool equipment.
Size and materials
The size and materials used for the pool can significantly impact the overall cost. An in-ground pool costs $50 to $125 per square foot, while an above-ground pool costs $10 to $15 per square foot. The choice of materials, such as concrete or vinyl, can also affect the price.
Add-ons and hot tubs
Additional features like diving boards, covers, waterfalls, and heating can add to the overall cost. While hot tubs are often considered separate from pools, they can also vary widely in price depending on size, features, and quality.
Ongoing maintenance is a crucial consideration when budgeting for a pool. Regular cleaning, professional maintenance, and potential repairs can add up over time. Some of the expenses include pool-cleaning equipment, water treatments, lighting, heating, and electricity for running the pumps.
Is pool financing a good idea?
Pool financing can be a good idea for some people, but whether it’s a good idea for you depends on your financial situation, your goals, and your priorities. Here are some things to consider when deciding whether pool financing is a good idea for you:Check your pool financing options. Start here
- Cost: Pools can be expensive, and financing can add to the overall cost. Before taking on debt to pay for a pool, it’s important to weigh the cost of financing against the benefits of having a pool
- Interest rates: If you decide to finance a pool, you’ll want to compare interest rates from different lenders to make sure you’re getting a good deal. A lower interest rate can save you money over the life of the loan
- Monthly payments: Pool financing typically involves making monthly payments over a period of years. Before taking on a loan, it’s important to make sure you can afford the monthly payments
- Return on investment: Having a pool can increase your home’s value and provide a source of entertainment and relaxation for your family. However, the return on investment may not be as high as you expect, so it’s important to consider whether the cost of the pool is worth the potential benefits
- Maintenance and upkeep: Owning a pool also comes with ongoing maintenance and upkeep costs, which can add to the overall cost of pool ownership
Ultimately, whether pool financing is a good idea depends on your individual circumstances. It’s important to weigh the costs and benefits carefully and to make sure you’re comfortable with the financial commitment involved.
Pool financing FAQCompare pool loans from multiple lenders. Start here
Some lenders, credit unions, and other financial institutions advertise swimming pool loans. However, pool loans are simply unsecured personal loans used to finance a swimming pool purchase. Personal loans have much higher interest rates than other types of financing.
A cash-out refinance might be the best way to finance a pool if you can also benefit from refinancing your mortgage. Refinance loans typically have the lowest rates compared to home equity loans and personal loans. If you prefer access to a line of credit, a HELOC is a better match. For a fixed-rate and a fixed monthly payment, you can think about a home equity loan. And if you don’t own a home — or don’t want to use your home’s equity — you can finance a pool with an unsecured personal loan.
Credit requirements for pool financing vary depending on the lender and the type of loan you use. Minimum scores might range from 600 to 680. If you want to finance a pool using a home equity line of credit or home equity loan, you may need a credit score of 720 or higher. Some lenders have lower credit requirements, so it’s possible to get pool financing with a low score. However, a lower score means you’ll get a higher interest rate and pay more for your loan.
Getting pool financing is easier with good credit or excellent credit. Lenders will check your credit history before approving your application. If you have recent late payments or other derogatory information on your credit report, the bank may deny your application. Borrowers with a bad credit profile will find obtaining financing challenging.
Pool companies are not banks, so they don’t offer “true” in-house financing. Instead, some pool builders work with a network of outside banks and lenders to offer pool loans.
As a rule of thumb, you should be able to finance a pool with a home improvement loan. However, some types of loans limit the types of renovations financing can be used for. Check with your loan servicer for details about your specific loan.
Check your eligibility for pool financing
An in-ground pool is a big investment. So it’s important to choose the right financing option.
Think about tapping your home equity to secure the lowest interest rate on your pool financing. But no matter which loan option you choose, make sure you shop around to get the best deal.
Offers vary by lender, and your rate can make a big difference.Time to make a move? Let us find the right mortgage for you